Meopta Optika6 3-18x50mm FFP Evaluation

prm

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Thanks for sharing the process.

Keep preaching about reticles. I’ve concluded that any windage reference above 4 mil is probably useless to me. I’d rather have a thick reference bar for the dark timber, lowlight scenario. If I need >4 mil of windage for a one time shot, the situation likely exceeds my ability to make that accurate of a wind call in a hunting scenario. For those that can make those calls there are a variety of scopes/reticles that are well suited. It’s that area between the long range scientific calculator reticle and a duplex that seems lacking. Since most game is shot well under 400-500yds you’d think there’d be a market. Apparently not. Why that is so is another discussion.

Edit: in nearly every low light test I’ve done it was the reticle that was was the deciding factor, not the glass. That is for identifying an aimpoint until 30min after sunset.
 
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Formidilosus

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The part that the vast majority want to talk about.... glass. I almost don’t even want to write it, as “glass” past good enough to see the target is an overblown, nearly useless thing for aiming devices. Somewhere around Leupold VX2 level glass is better than is required to positively identify and shoot big game in the US during legal hours. I, and friends have hunted from Alabama and Florida swamps, to Tennessee and Virginia thickets, to western dark timber, and 13,000ft alpine. Never, have I not been able to kill an animal I wanted because of “glass” once scopes reached good enough. People talk glass, because they care more about showing their buddies thier scope, than killing with it.
If scopes actually worked like people believe they do, I would probably care more about clarity, brightness, color rendidtion, and resolution in scopes.



I’ve gotten so many questions on “what’s the glass like” even after the second paragraph in my first post, that I’m going to explain why “glass” is such a ridiculous thing to care about for scopes. There’s going to be some history, reality, and hopefully a start down the path of changing some people’s beliefs and thinking.


To begin what is a scope? This seems like such an easy question. I ask this all the time to groups of supposedly very experienced people, and almost universally they say- “an aiming device” or the equivalent. To which I reply- “so it's not an observation device like a bino or spotting scope?” They say of course not. “Then why is the first thing everyone of you did when I set that prototype scope on the table, is pick it up and ask about glass?” “Not one of you asked about ANYTHING that has to do with hitting a target”. “No questions in zero retention, tracking, RTZ... NOTHING”. They’ll be silence for a moment while everyone thinks.

There is a massive cognitive dissonance in the hunting/shooting world. All BS aside, in the first post I could have said “failed horribly, couldn’t even zero out of the box” and someone- most likely multiple people, would have still asked “yeah, so what’s the glass comparable to?”
Think about what you do when you pick up a scope at the gun counter or range. For most it’s “look at the glass”. I was shown a prototype scope by a major scope manufacturer a few years ago. The scope was going to change my life, and they wanted me to “test it”. No, what they wanted was a shill, and they thought I’d be so excited to get a free scope to “test”, that I’d look through it, shoot a hundred rounds, hit some targets and exclaim “it’s great!” like every other “tester” that manufacturers send product to.

I asked is it the final version?

The rep said yep, almost ready to hit the market. He tries to hand it to me, and is talking abut the glass clarity.

I didn’t take it. I ask- “ok, what is the zero retention like?” “how many rounds do you have through them, have they held zero, how do they adjust, any failures?”

He says something to the effect of “nah man it’s good, lots of testing”. “Look at the clarity, it’s awesome, best in the class”. “Also, we did a great job on the BDC”.

Me- “Zero interest in a BDC” “how many rounds do you have on a single sample, how has it held zero from impacts, specifically being dropped?”

Him looking confused- “uhhh, mmm I’ll have to ask”. “It’s super reliable though”. “Man, you really need to look through it, this thing has an awesome view, and is light!”

Me- not really interested, sir.

Him- “what!, you haven’t even looked through it?”

At some point in this he put the scope on the shelf, and my partners had found seats to sipp their coffee and watch the exchange.

Me- “dude, this scope has not been tested for anything that matters by what you are telling me.” I don’t care about glass, I don’t care about weight, I care “does it work?” That’s it. I can tell you that scope is almost guaranteed to fail even basic testing, because you guys didn’t do it” “not trying to be a dick, but it’d be a waste of both of our times”.

Him- uhh, I’ve never been asked this before. I really don’t know how to respond, you haven’t even looked at it.

Me- “Ok”. I picked it, took the turret caps off, spun the turrets, turned the power ring, then looked through and started laughing.

Him- What?

Me- look through it.

Him- uggh....

Me- “this is why we’re not interested”. (The freaking reticle was rotated 45 degrees, and one of the lenses was about to fall out).

Him- “uhhh, mmmm, it was fine earlier” he calls over another rep, that rep looks through and says “damn. Someone dropped it earlier”, and takes it to a back room”.



Stupid long story, but it is absolutely illustrative of the reality of the scope world. That was a major, well thought of company, marketing a scope aimed at the military. The worst part about it is, it actually got traction with segments. Couple years later now, that scope is on the market, people buy them, exclaim how great they are, but they are exactly the same. I’ve seen a bunch, and if they get bumped at all- they lose zero.

People care about “glass” I think, because they don’t know anything else. No one actually shoots. Think about it, there is no reason that a rifle hunter, most especially one that will shoot past 100-200 yards, should not be practicing like a serious bow hunter. Serious archers shoot hundreds of arrows a week, they practice in all positions- not just standing, they practice in the most realistic way possible- 3D Targets, varied terrain, wearing their pack/bino pouch/hunting clothes. They get their heart rate up, practice in the wind; if they are really dedicated, in bad weather.
Yet a “serious” rifle hunter might shoot 100 to 200 rounds a year, almost all from a bench, and any that’s not from a bench will be from prone. How does this hold up? Anyone that has done both seriously and for an extended period will see that archery and rifles aren’t really different- it’s just the range. If someone buys a bow, they can be relatively successful out to 20-30 yards with only a few hours of practice. If someone buys a rifle, they can be relatively successful out to 200 or so yards with only a few hours of practice. But the moment an archer wants to be truly competent at 40+ yards, he has to PRACTICE. And, his equipment needs to be tuned, and reliable. The same for a rifleman. If a rifle hunter wants to be truly competent past 200-300 yards, it requires PRACTICE- just like an archer, and he better start paying attention to what matters with his equipment.

But.... almost no one does this. Every forum, gun shop, and range is full of people buying or having bought a “insert whatever rifle” generally chambered in a big cartridge, with some “insert supposedly good scope”, saying he’s plans on hunting elk “to 600 for now, but would like to be able to go to 800, in the future”. This same person that is “600 yard capable” now, has to ask about BC, ballistic programs, if his BDC will be correct in the mountains, ft-lbs energy, ad nauseam. He can talk about how clear his scope is, but he can’t tell you if it’ll still be zeroed after the drive to Colorado.....


Here’s the dirty little secret- scopes fail. A lot. If you use a rifle like it was a bow, there are laughably few scopes that will last a week without a failure. What hasn’t I haven’t revealed was in the time that I’ve been evaluating this Meopta- I’ve had two other scopes from “great” brands. Both have utterly failed. One caused a complete rodeo on an animal when it did. Both of these scopes have gotten great reviews from others. However the way they failed, is not a QC problem, it’s a design problem. One of these is already on the market, one was about to be. If they bring this scope to production.... I hope you don’t slip while hunting because the scope won’t be zeroed afterwards.

I say what I do about equipment (especially scopes), not because I am “loyal” to a brand, or even because I care what someone uses. I do it, because some people want real information that comes from real use- not “shot a box of shells through it, it’s great”.

Scope failures are real even with just hunting and a bit of shooting use. 4 of the last 5 years the group of 6-8 people I hunt with have had scope failures. All of them knew better, but they couldn’t shake the “its really awesome glass and features”. “it’s just hunting, it’ll be fine”. Quite a few tags went unfilled after a LOT of effort, and two complete rodeos on wounded animals.





TBC....
 
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Formidilosus

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Alright, if you’ve lasted this far....


The “glass”. It’s good. Actually pretty darn good. Color rendition is good, clarity is good (falls of a smidge at the edges), resolution is good; really nothing jumps out other than “that’s pretty good”. My eyes seem to notice resolution- ability to observe fine details, over brightness, color contrast, etc.

These are what was laying around to compare this Meopta to-
127337

From left to right- prototype, Optika6, Burris XTR II5-25x, SWFA SS 3-9x, Nightforce ATACR 4-16x, Leupolds Mark 6 3-18x.



In resolution from worst to best all at 16x (and 9x to compare SWFA): Burris, Leupold, Meopta, SWFA, prototype, ATACR. The Burris and Mark 6 is noticeably worse than all of them. The Meopta, SWFA, and prototype are relatively close- you would know which was which if not told. The Nightforce has always favored resolving detail over other factors, and it shows.


Brightness or most most perceive as brightness/clarity= “color pop”. This is how vivid and lifel like the colors are. From worst to “best”: Burris, Leupold, SWFA/Meopta, Nightforce, prototype. Again, Burris not great, Leupold ok, SWFA and Meopta are “pleasing” to look through, Nightforce and the prototype are close, but color does seem better with the proto.


Actual brightness or low light resolving: As the light gets lower, can I see and ID the target: Burris, Leupold, SWFA, Meopta, Nightforce, Proto. Once again, the Burris and Leupold are behind. SWFA is beat by the Meopta due to bigger objective and higher power. Nightforce seems to be just behind the proto due objective as well.




I’ve shot the Meopta next to a bunch of scopes, and overall the “glass” is better than anything in its price range. It destroys Vortex PST GEN 1 and is better than Gen 2, as well as Razor Gen 1. It’s better than latest Leupold VX3, and about on par with Zeiss V4/6, with the Meopta having maybe a bit better resolution. Maybe. It’s got better color pop, perceived brightness, but not quite as good resolution as the Nightforce NXS 3.5-15x50mm. But it’s close.



TBC....
 

realunlucky

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This is an awesome review thread.
I see the waiting list growing to get one of these.

Sent from my moto z3 using Tapatalk
 
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Formidilosus

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It is awesome, I came here to read about the Meopta and ended up buying a KRG Bravo for my Tikka.. 😯


Man, it’s like a little TRG. The more I shoot it, the more I dig that stock on the T3 Lite. Tracking through recoil, neutral grip, and spotting your own impacts are greatly improved over factory. I should have done it earlier, but I was stuck on the extra pound it added- the performance is worth it.
 

Wrench

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If that reticle was more woods friendly....this would be high on my radar, but I need at least 3 bold alignment marks when I'm in a hurry. Mildot makes me happy.
 

wind gypsy

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Great review thread. I was skeptical when these were announced that they would be a reliable option just based on the feature set for the price. Even more than the review, I appreciate the deep dive on reticle design, manufacturer/consumer ignorance and focus on "hows the glass" vs reliable function.

Keep preaching Form. The message may never reach critical mass because of the number of folks who don't research online or seek experienced input on the topics but I think you're moving the needle. It's clear there are more and more informed perspectives out there than there were even a couple years ago.
 
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Formidilosus

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No problem guys. I get a ton of questions on how I evaluate scopes. This IS NOT a normal eval. This was a very quick and rough version to get this scope hunting if it worked.

Btw- if you think this was long.... I do this for every piece of gear I evaluate. Every sock, shoe, jacket, sleeping bag, pants, pack, bino, everything. 😞 Fml.




If that reticle was more woods friendly....this would be high on my radar, but I need at least 3 bold alignment marks when I'm in a hurry. Mildot makes me happy.
So, why do you need three? Visually two horizontal gets you to the same precision, or one vertical that touches.

With this reticle, though I am not a believer in them, the donut does work.



Great review thread. I was skeptical when these were announced that they would be a reliable option just based on the feature set for the price. Even more than the review, I appreciate the deep dive on reticle design, manufacturer/consumer ignorance and focus on "hows the glass" vs reliable function.

“Snip”

Again, I want to be clear to everyone- this is not an endorsement. I’ve literally bought the car, drove it home, and took it on one family road trip. We’re a long ways from knowing if this scope, or the Optika6’s in total are actually solid scopes. It is more likely that this scope will fail today on its next shot, then that it will last the season without a catastrophic failure....


The general knowledge does seem to be getting better, but there is an extremely high signal to noise ratio with hunters and shooters. There’s so much info out there that figuring out what is factual, measured and validated information, and what is just “that’s the way I’ve alway done it” is difficult.
I’ve no emotion, ego, or personal opinion in this. My goal is to move as much to a data driven knowledge base as possible. As long as people find it useful and want the info, I’ll keep posting it. If people don’t want it.... it would certainly make my life easier to not post.
 

skywalkr

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This has been very informative and I really appreciate the time you took in writing everything up. For someone who is still very new to things compared to so many on here it is great to have a no bs resource to help guide my decisions.
 

Colby

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I’d like to say thanks for taking the time to post.
You put out a lot of great info that has helped me and mine out with equipment choices.
 

Wrench

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No problem guys. I get a ton of questions on how I evaluate scopes. This IS NOT a normal eval. This was a very quick and rough version to get this scope hunting if it worked.

Btw- if you think this was long.... I do this for every piece of gear I evaluate. Every sock, shoe, jacket, sleeping bag, pants, pack, bino, everything. 😞 Fml.






So, why do you need three? Visually two horizontal gets you to the same precision, or one vertical that touches.

With this reticle, though I am not a believer in them, the donut does work.






Again, I want to be clear to everyone- this is not an endorsement. I’ve literally bought the car, drove it home, and took it on one family road trip. We’re a long ways from knowing if this scope, or the Optika6’s in total are actually solid scopes. It is more likely that this scope will fail today on its next shot, then that it will last the season without a catastrophic failure....


The general knowledge does seem to be getting better, but there is an extremely high signal to noise ratio with hunters and shooters. There’s so much info out there that figuring out what is factual, measured and validated information, and what is just “that’s the way I’ve alway done it” is difficult.
I’ve no emotion, ego, or personal opinion in this. My goal is to move as much to a data driven knowledge base as possible. As long as people find it useful and want the info, I’ll keep posting it. If people don’t want it.... it would certainly make my life easier to not post.
Where I hunt there's a LOT of horizontal lines from tree branches....I personally don't resolve images well the lack boldness somewhere.

If I shot fields....it'd be fine but in low light dense cover and a dead battery it would be an epic fail for my eyes.
 

wildcat33

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My observation: All the marketing material on these scopes is same-ol-same-ol: light transmission, coatings, ions, and un-pronounceable features. Not one word about any improvements or detail about what makes this scope "work". To me it looks like any other scope in this category be it athlon, vortex, or whatever. If they had spent the money and QC to produce a scope that excels mechanically, no doubt the marketing folks would be all over it.

Honestly Form, Im surprised youre sticking your neck out so far on this one. I happy to hear its worked well so far, I want it to all be true. As our Holy Minister of Aiming Devices we await final judgement.

I hope Im wrong, but the laws of manufacturing and economics are unbeatable. A compromise must be made.

Just sayin.
 

JGRaider

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My observation: All the marketing material on these scopes is same-ol-same-ol: light transmission, coatings, ions, and un-pronounceable features. Not one word about any improvements or detail about what makes this scope "work". To me it looks like any other scope in this category be it athlon, vortex, or whatever. If they had spent the money and QC to produce a scope that excels mechanically, no doubt the marketing folks would be all over it.

Honestly Form, Im surprised youre sticking your neck out so far on this one. I happy to hear its worked well so far, I want it to all be true. As our Holy Minister of Aiming Devices we await final judgement.

I hope Im wrong, but the laws of manufacturing and economics are unbeatable. A compromise must be made.

Just sayin.

Well, at least Form has some actual time behind it, you have none, and yet you have offered an opinion on a scope you've never laid eyes on. So far, I'll take his word over yours. Just sayin.......
 

sneaky

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My observation: All the marketing material on these scopes is same-ol-same-ol: light transmission, coatings, ions, and un-pronounceable features. Not one word about any improvements or detail about what makes this scope "work". To me it looks like any other scope in this category be it athlon, vortex, or whatever. If they had spent the money and QC to produce a scope that excels mechanically, no doubt the marketing folks would be all over it.

Honestly Form, Im surprised youre sticking your neck out so far on this one. I happy to hear its worked well so far, I want it to all be true. As our Holy Minister of Aiming Devices we await final judgement.

I hope Im wrong, but the laws of manufacturing and economics are unbeatable. A compromise must be made.

Just sayin.
You mean the same laws of manufacturing that now have LED TVs under $200? No reason that the same law of trickle down effects and production advancements can't be applied to scopes. I'll take the word of someone who has actually field tested one over someone with an internet opinion. It might fail on his next shot, as he already mentioned, or it might last 10k more rounds on 6 different rifles. Let us know when you're ready to post up your field review of one. I'm sure we'll all be ready to read it over the slow winter months.

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wildcat33

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?

How am I sticking my neck out?
You usually reserve saying much of anything about a scope until it is well tested, that is all. If you offer an opinion, its usually after extensive review. I don't recall seeing a review on a sample of one. Many "great" scopes have failed the Form test from sample groups of many.

As for the others: Sensitive group. The Meopta website is a bunch of mumbo jumbo about features. Nothing about mechanics. That's not an opinion, go read it yourself. "Dichroic" reticles and "ion assisted coatings"? That the same nonsense features that optics companies trot out every year that Form has been preaching about. Its not an attack on the review, relax.
 
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